So I was at a talk show/program last weekend called SWORTE talks (14) and I was happy that people are beginning to realize how stifling this country and its economy is; how horrible the current Nigerian system is, how combative the Nigerian economy is and how it is rigged against the youth.
I am not even sure which is worse, the fact that the above has become our reality or that I later realized that even secondary school students are well aware of this situation due to the questions raised at the event.
The thing is – Nigeria is a country that makes you feel crazy, mad, stupid and somewhat senseless when you’re passionate about it and try to stay to make it better. Especially when you have all that it takes to move out as fast as you can, and thrive and grow in the abroad.
If you want to start something new in Nigeria, you are often times frustrated, because you put your all in it and don’t get anything in return. At times, people even go as far as laugh in your face and tell you point blank “ah ahn this one cannot work in this country oh? You want to start that one here? How? We are not ready for this one you’re about to bring oh” or they tell you candidly that Nigeria is not ready for this area at all.
Some even go as far as telling you not just the country that would be better off with your new idea, but the exact state where you would make the most schmoney from it. Thinking about this alone can make you depressed and feel like why am I even wasting my time in this country?
But, does this mean that a Nigerian can no longer build, grow and start a beautiful life and legacy in this country? I mean, thinking about how much you would make in other countries alone would make you weak and make you question what you’re still doing wasting your time and energy here.
But, here’s the thing; Yes! You can make it here, but patience is one of the biggest virtues you will need.
Of course you will be frustrated, but please don’t be deterred by the people who keep reminding you how you’re wasting your time or whatnot, because they are helping you to mind your business. After all, in Nigeria everybody minds every Nigerian’s business, because it is a community business that we all have to mind as a nation!
Our parents definitely had it easier than we did. The economy and system were good and aided growth and progress. To hear in that hall (SWORTE talk 14) that there was a time when the Naira was much higher than the Dollar made me very hopeful that it could happen again, but incredibly sad at how bad and difficult things have become and how stifling the current economy is. How did we get here?!?
In the words of Tosin Durotoye, it is better to make money in your country and give back to the country and society that birthed you. After all, it takes a village and there truly is no place like home.
Yes, develop yourself and do all it takes to improve on yourself. Trust me there is no better feeling than giving back.
I am not saying move or don’t move, as both decisions have their pros and cons!
Moving would mean you are in a better and more organized environment where you can grow and learn, and where your income increases but also one where you are just one of many other immigrants. You also don’t have a lot of support system or “day ones” there.
Here in Nigeria, on the other hand, you can create and grow a niche for yourself and would be well respected and hopefully valued. You could develop and build that legacy in this nation. Grinding hard with your day ones and balling together is a different level of enjoyment. Then you can truly say all my friends are ballers while you do the skanky leg, azonto, dougie or gbe body when the gbedu hits because…enjoyment without gbedu no be gbedu.
Make the best decision that suits you and I advise that we all work on ourselves while we try to improve on the sorry state that is Nigeria.
I also hope that the Lord in his infinite mercies, guides our leaders right and helps our youths the truth to know to enable us truly build a nation where peace and justice reigns, so that indeed the labor of our heroes path will NEVER be in vein.
Till next time….
By Adesola Osuntoki